Well, I was all prepared for it to happen a week ago, and then it didn’t. That’s the problem with a lack of information. Yes, yes, I know I’m a witch. Ought to be able to work it out with no help. But help is a sociable thing. OK, I’m not a very sociable creature, either.
‘That’s a short longlist‘ said Daughter. And it is, but the Guardian seems to prefer it that way, and at least it’s easier to get a proper view of it with only eight titles on the longlist. As far as I’m concerned it’s also an abysmally unknown longlist. But this time I’ve worked out why.
So, to the list: David Almond, My Name is Mina; Lissa Evans, Small Change for Stuart; Frances Hardinge, Twilight Robbery; Saci Lloyd, Momentum; Simon Mason, Moon Pie; Andy Mulligan, Return to Ribblestrop; Annabel Pitcher, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece; Andy Stanton, Mr Gum and the Secret Hideout.
I have read Moon Pie and listened to My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece. Both books have been heavily publicised not only in my direction, but I’m sure at most people with an interest in children’s books.
I obviously know David Almond, and have almost been tempted to read about Mina. David is a marvellous writer, but the last of his books that I read made me so depressed that I decided not to risk it again. I just don’t know. I’ve had a Frances Hardinge book around, but it was one of those I ran out of time with.
After reading the first Mr Gum I have not followed his subsequent career. Could be I’m not a little boy any longer. I have never heard of Lissa Evans or Saci Lloyd. As for Andy Mulligan, I loved the first Ribblestrop, and have been on the verge to try and get hold of this second book, just to immerse myself in more warm insanity and adventure.
Just as I have asked countless times to be included on the Guardian’s press information email list (and you know, this time I thought I actually was), it seems I’m still not. Which limits me to guesswork on the when, and leaves me to read the information in the paper along with everyone else.
The same with several of the books. They are published by companies I keep trying to get regular information from, and regularly failing. Most are quite happy to help when asked, but, you know, I have to know, before I can ask.
It’s not the books I’ve got in my piles but haven’t read that are on the list. It’s the ones I’ve not even got near.
You’ll be wanting to know which of the hopefuls will make the shortlist. (I wonder when that is?) It will – most likely – be David Almond, Simon Mason, Annabel Pitcher and, let’s see, Andy Stanton. I wish all of them the best of luck.